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Christenson, Shojis named to Olympic volleyball team

  • COURTESY FIVB

    Kawika Shoji, Micah Christenson and Erik Shoji, left to right, with the FIVB World Cup trophy the U.S. men’s volleyball team won in Sept. 2015 in Tokyo. The three Hawaii players were named to the U.S. Olympic men’s volleyball team.

Three volleyball players from Hawaii had their Olympic dream realized today when named to the U.S. men’s roster that will compete in Brazil in August.

Setters Micah Christenson (Kamehameha) and Kawika Shoji (‘Iolani) and libero Erik Shoji (Punahou) were among the 12 players selected today. Christenson and the Shojis will compete in their first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The squad has four Olympic veterans and eight newcomers.

“The goal is to make sure we are the best team we can be in Rio,” U.S. coach John Speraw said in a release. “In order for us to achieve our goal, we are going to need one of the greatest collective efforts in USAV history. We don’t have the experience that past teams have had. For us to go through this is going to require all of us to be at our very best.”

The U.S. men open Olympic competition on Aug. 7 against Canada. It qualified for Rio by winning the 2015 FIVB World Cup.

The Americans won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and placed fifth in 2012.

The Shoji brothers are the sons of University of Hawaii women’s volleyball coach Dave Shoji.

Roster

Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)

Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)

Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)

David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)

Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)

Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)

Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-7, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)

Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)

Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)

David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

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